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A gala mop-up: UFC star is light on his feet; Barrett muses about Phantom return

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Frank Mir.
Ray Kasprowicz

So many notes, so little time, so lacking in aptitude …

I came away with a few noteworthy odds and ends following Saturday’s Nevada Ballet Theatre Black & White Ball at Caesars Palace. A lot of this material has nothing to do with lithe dancers in sequined costumes, as I culled most of it at the pre-ball reception at Cartier and at the cocktail hour before the program.

The stuff follows:

*Probably the least-likely guest was UFC combatant Frank Mir, who is friends with NBT board member Debra Hood. “I’m trying to expand my horizons,” Mir said while checking out the watches (and cutting quite a distinctive figure) at Cartier. Later, when approached by auctioneer Christian Kolberg during the event, Mir said, “I love the ballet. That’s why I move so fluidly.”

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Brent Barrett.

*Former Phantom: Las Vegas Spectacular lead Brent Barrett showed up with Channel 13 entertainment reporter Alicia Jacobs. The contract for current Phantom, Tony Crivello, is up in June and I asked Barrett (who still has a home in The Lakes) if he’d be interested in returning to that role. “If I get a phone call, I’ll listen. I’d certainly get into a discussion about it, absolutely,” said Barrett, who has been on a concert tour over the past few months and takes part in the Las Vegas Philharmonic Pops Series on March 21. “I loved doing it.”

*Elizabeth Holland, former owner of Las Vegas Gyrotonics at Holsum Lofts, said she closed that business last month and is teaching classes out of her home. The Smith Center for the Performing Arts is anchoring Holsum Lofts at the moment, but there are no arts studios left and the once-promising retail and arts center on Charleston Boulevard and Interstate 15 is fairly lifeless.

*Former Planet Hollywood president Mike Mecca, replaced last week by former Luxor exec Tom McCartney, was coy about his plans, but said he would be staying in Las Vegas and working at a developing project. “I like the development of a project, seeing it through,” said Mecca, who presided over the Planet Hollywood’s multimillion-dollar transformation from the old Aladdin. He’s been an executive in Vegas for 25 years, off and on, including a stint with pre-MGM merger Circus Circus on the Mandalay Bay project from 1997 to 1999.

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Clint Holmes, Kelly Clinton and Barack Obama, shown at an Obama rally at Cashman Field in September.

*Clint Holmes said he was contacted as late as Friday by Obama inauguration event organizers, who asked the longtime Strip headliner about participating in the Penn Ball on inauguration night. Impossible, with that short notice, said Holmes, who did take part in Obama events in Las Vegas during the campaign.

*I finally had a chance to ask Steve Schorr about Mamma Mia! I asked Cox Communications’ vice president of public and government affairs. He sat up front on the show’s final performance and acted like he was at a Woodstock revival. “I love the show,” he said. “I’ve seen it 18 times.”

*When he was a teenager, Kolberg worked for Dr. Jim Nave, for decades a renowned Vegas veterinarian and executive with Station Casinos. Young Christian’s duties included tending to Wayne Newton’s Arabian horses and Phyllis McGuire’s pet canines. I know this because I happened to be seated at dinner next to Christian’s wife, Lara, who is development officer of The Smith Center. Watching Christian work a room in a tux, it’s hard to imagine him shoveling stalls.

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